The world's largest wildlife meeting wrapped up late Tuesday with conservationists hailing progress in tightening rules on trafficking of endangered species including sharks, grey parrots and pangolins. But the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) conference in Johannesburg also exposed sharp differences over how to best protect Africa's elephants and rhinos.
Ten days of talks ended a day earlier than expected, with CITES chief John Scanlon describing the meeting as "a game changer for the planet's most vulnerable wild animals and plants." More than 2,500 delegates sifted through 62 proposals to reform trade restrictions on more than 400 species. In all, 51 proposals were accepted, five rejected and six were withdrawn.
Wildlife campaigners generally welcomed the outcome, adding that concrete action was now needed to tackle a global boom in poaching and trafficking. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said that governments had united behind "tough decisions," while the International Fund for Animal Welfare said that "conservation trumped commerce." These five animals were affected by CITES decisions. Credit: Thinkstock